41: How to Use All 3 Areas of Your Speaking Voice.
If you have a monotone voice, get frustrated when people lose focus or tune out when you talk, or are annoyed when people ask you to repeat yourself, this Real Talking Tips ‘Shifting Voice Locations’ episode is for you. Varying pitch placement helps separate concepts, ideas, information, and list items so the audience can stay focused and more easily absorb the entire message and separate bits of information. Shifting voice placement locations helps grab a listener’s attention and take the listener on an informational journey via a musically spoken story arc.
Click the video to watch or select the audio podcast by clicking start or selecting your favorite audio player in the icon below.
41: How to Use All 3 Areas of Your Speaking Voice.
Real Talking Tips 41 is the 4th Voice Placement episode. This 4-part VOICE PLACEMENT series began with episode 38 where we concentrated on speaking from the middle voice placement mouth and nose area called the MASK. Episode 39, we practiced several ways to use the higher pitched HEAD VOICE. Then, in Episode 40, we dropped the speaking voice lower and down into the CHEST VOICE. Now, we’re going to incorporate all three of these medium, high, and low voice placement locations.
The pitch placement of the voice is a primary component of a speaker’s melodic speech pattern. Remember back in Real Talking Tips Episode 17 where we worked on the musicality of the voice and how to BE A SING TALKER? Pitch placement variations can be used to separate concepts, ideas, information, and items in a list. Pitch placement can grab a listener’s attention and create a musical story arc. Speakers can use specific pitch placements to help audiences take in and absorb information more easily.
If you have a monotone voice, get frustrated when people tune out when you talk, or ask you to repeat yourself, this Real Talking Tips ‘Shifting Voice Locations’ episode is for you.
#4 Voice Placement: 5 Ways to Add Variety to Your Speaking Voice.
Variety is the spice of life. So why not put VARIETY in your speaking voice? Using your head, mask, and chest voice can spice up your performance and speech communication. There are times when you may not want to go all the way up into your head voice or drop your voice all the way down into your chest voice. The musical range of your speaking voice is often dictated by the information you’re providing, person or group of people you’re talking to, or your physical location. That’s where the POWER BOX locations that we worked on in Real Talking Tips Episodes 23-26 come in. Big and Broad, Medium and Casual, or Small and Confined SPEAKING DYNAMICS are dependent on each situation.
Here are 5 ways to add VOICE PLACEMENT VARIETY.
1. STORY ARC – The beginning of the message defines the problem while the end of the story offers some form of relief or solution. Therefore, the story can start higher at the beginning, drop to the middle speech placement area in the informational center section, and drop lower in pitch when the problem is resolved and a solution or advice is given at the end.
On the flip side, if the problem is boredom and the person you’re talking to needs excitement, you can start at the lower pitch, move to the middle pitch placement area, and end in a higher pitched voice.
2. UP-DOWN-SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE – When information is spoken on the same musical pitch, the listener tends to hear only one thing rather than each individual item. One way to define each item is to place individual thoughts or items on its own musical speaking note. The best way to achieve that is with a ZIGZAG. (Okay Elaine, what do you mean by that…?) It simply means that the first item is spoken at a higher pitched note, the second at the lowest speaking voice, and the third item splits the difference and is spoken in the middle voice pitch area. Or, the speaker starts in the LOWER VOICE rises to the HIGHER VOICE and ends in the MIDDLE VOICE speaking pitch. The opposing first two speech pitches that are 180 degrees apart establish a more dynamic and dramatic difference. Landing the final item in the middle ties the information together in that third speech location.
3. STAIRSTEP UP, STAIRSTEP DOWN – When a gradual addition of information is needed, the speaker can raise each item or thought up a note or more. Or, it can start higher and lower in pitch as you say each separate item.
4. HOOK – You can use the Word Emphasis ‘hook’ that we worked on in Real Talking TipsEpisode 36 to grab a listener’s attention by starting the ‘S-Shaped’ musical speech variation from a higher voice, to the middle, and lower voice. Or, start the ‘S’ shaped talking movement from the lower voice, glide through the middle, and curve the ending up into the higher voice.
5. THERMOMETER – The voice can progressively rise and fall similar to the movement of a thermometer to BUILD or RELIEVE excitement.
How To Speak Using 3 Voice Placements – Head, Mask and Chest.
It’s your turn now to practice shifting how you speak using these three high, medium, and low Voice Placement locations.
1. STORY ARC – Make the hand movements as you say the instructions below to create an auditory story arc from high to low and then low to high. Example 1: “I raise my hand and form a tight fist, then relax my hand and open it up, then turn the hand over so it faces up and drop the hand a little lower.” Example 2: “My hand is low with the palm of the hand up, I raise my hand and turn the hand over so the palm faces down, then raise my hand higher and form a tight fist.”
2. ZIGZAG UP-DOWN-SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE – Using both hands, raise one hand higher and place the other hand lower. Practice UP-DOWN-SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE followed by DOWN-UP-SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE. Example 1: “One hand is high and I leave it in place as I place my other hand lower and leave it in place, then move the higher hand into the middle space in between.” Example 2: “One hand is low and I leave it in place as I place my other hand higher and leave it in place, then move the lower hand into the middle space in between.”
3. STAIRSTEP UP, STAIRSTEP DOWN – You can either alternate hands or use one hand to create the up and down musical speech rise and fall. Start with the stairstep up and then the stairstep down. Example 1: “My hand is placed low, then raises higher, and then raises higher.” Example 2: “My hand is placed high , then drops lower, and drops lower again.”
4. HOOK – Practice the movements as you say these two musical speech hooks. First, start higher and curve lower. Second, starting lower and curve higher. Example 1 – S-curve higher to lower: “Well… we meet again.” Example 2 – S-curve lower to higher: “Hello everyone, good to see you again!”
5. THERMOMETER – Gradually raise your speaking voice from low to high. Then smoothly lower the speaking pitch from high to low. Example 1 – Build excitement from Low to High: “We’re going to get you charged up and ready for success!” Example 2 – Add relief or a story-arc conclusion: “What a great event. I’m so glad all of you could join me here.”
So there you have it! Five ways to use the mask, head, and chest voice in everyday conversation, public speaking, presentations, podcasts, and voiceover recordings.
Join me next time in Real Talking Tips Episode 42 as we begin a new 4-part series on the Power of Persuasion.
Please take a moment to click the YouTube video to Subscribe and Ring the Bell for notifications.
Listen and download the audio Real Talking Tips podcast in Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Outcast, and Deezer.
Check out the elaineclarkvo.com/podcast page to view the blog, watch the video, listen, and share the episode with your friends and colleagues using the social media links located at the bottom of the page.